Joseph Prince says turning from sin not necessary for justification or forgiveness

You can used to be able to hear yourself what Joseph Prince teaches about the gospel and what he calls pure, uncluttered Christianity in the video at http://www.youtube.com/v/10lue7bhcK0. Obviously someone in his huge web team made sure the video came down. But I have made a partial transcription below so you can save yourself a few minutes watching the video if you want to. I’ve also done this in case they decide to take this video down in the future. They took the video down, but I found it elsewhere:


Watch Will The Real Christianity Please Stand Up?

 

Transcription of this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10lue7bhcK0

JP: Not only your past sins, but your entire life – God put it at Jesus, all the sins of your entire life – even tomorrow, next year, next month, next century., … God put all your sins in the body of Jesus and Jesus paid for ALL your sins, and God is so pleased with what Jesus did, that God raised Jesus from the dead. Now listen carefully, … God’s law must be honored … Jesus came and he suffered the consequences of the broken law.

My comment: This is true, but it is usually mentioned as some kind of proof that no amount of unbelief and sin on the part of a born again Christian can possibly affect their justification with God. The jump in logic from here goes something like .. “since God already paid for the sins you are going to commit tomorrow, you are free to go and commit them, because they are paid for, and God would be unholy if he punished you again.”

JP: If God punish you for your sins today, I say this reverently, then God is unholy, because God in his holiness, when Jesus carried our sins, God had no choice but to punish his own beloved Son, for the sins that he carried. It was not his own sins it was our sins. And God in his holiness punished every iota, every item of sin that he was carrying. Because it has been punished, you know what, YOU ARE FREE. And if today God punishes you for your sin, that would make God unholy. God’s holiness today is FOR YOU. Thats the reason why, there is therefore now no condemnation.

My Comments: Only IN HIM do we have forgiveness of sins. (Ephesians 1:7). We are not IN HIM if we are not willing to yield ourselves to God. I will now post what the apostle John said about being in Christ and about those who would say that the PRACTICE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS has nothing to do with whether you are of God or not – exactly the kind of heresy Joseph Prince is preaching.

1Jn 3:3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1Jn 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 1Jn 3:5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 1Jn 3:6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 1Jn 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 1Jn 3:9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. 1Jn 3:10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.

Prince is judging God here in fact, and stating that according to Joseph Prince’s rules of reasoning, if Jesus paid for the sin, God would be unholy to judge you. If Prince is right, then God would also be unholy to judge the sinner who never believed in Jesus at all, because after all, Jesus paid for that sinner’s sin, and God should have no further right to judge that sinner. Especially if there are really NO CONDITIONS to receiving forgiveness as Prince states later in his message.

God has NEVER stated that gives anyone a free pass to sin. Justification has always been by faith, never by lawkeeping, but it must be a LIVING FAITH, which has works of repentance and a change of heart concerning sin. Those who would deny this seem to be very ignorant of the whole counsel of God. Its hard to believe that people could consider the whole Bible account of God’s dealings with men and conclude that he gives unrepentant people a free pass to sin. Even King David repented of his sin. If he had not repented, he would certainly have been lost, as was Saul.

JP: Not because God says, “Nevermind”, NO! Because its paid. The condemnation for my sins and yours has fallen upon Jesus. And because it has fallen on Jesus, it will never fall on me. There is therefore now no condemnation … When you owe money to your creditor it is not for you to say “Paid”. It is for your creditor to say “Settled”. Its not for you to feel it is settled … Did Jesus’ death glorify God? Did Jesus’ death magnify the law? Did God compromise His law? No! Did God in order to rescue you from judgement ignore his law? No! Jesus had to pay. But because its paid, you don’t have to pay. Good news. So how do I know I’m justified?

My Comments: Antinomian (Anti-law) preachers like Joseph Prince love to quote only the first part of Romans 8:1. You see here how he has left off: “for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”. If he quoted the whole verse as it is in the Majority Greek Text, it would undermine everything he is trying to say.

JP: Pastor Henry is walking free. And I say, “You didn’t even say thank you”. … God is so satisfied with what Jesus did, that when God raised Him from the dead, He did it with style … He gave him all power and authority and made him sit at his right hand, that shows how satisfied He is. God did it for us, to show us how satisfied God is with His Son’s work at the cross. You need not apologise for the cross. Can I have a good Amen!. The fact that Jesus rose from the dead means all your sins are clear. Paul says it like this, that if Christ is not raised, you are still in your sins. So the fact Christ is raised is your receipt – your sins are forgiven. It is accepted, his payment is accepted. And God showed his satisfaction by raising his son from the dead.

My Comments: The resurrection of Christ is indeed a NECESSARY condition for our justification, but nowhere does the Bible say that it is a SUFFICIENT condition. If it was a sufficient condition then EVERYONE ON EARTH would be forgiven and justified automatically. Joseph Prince is just making things up when he says that Christ’s resurrection is our “receipt” from God proving we have justification. That is known as “eisegesis” – that is, reading INTO the text whatever is not there but what one wants to say. And you will see later in this message that Joseph Prince “eisegetes” into the passage other things as well.

From 6:15minutes in the video – here is where it gets really bad.

JP:Acts 13:36 – therefore, let it be known to you brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins.

Notice, just a declaration with no conditions whatsoever. Its a declaration of the full, free, unclouded, immediate favor of God – with no conditions on the part of the recipient. Through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins. Not only forgiveness but next verse says, “and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Not only by him we have forgiveness but by him we have justification, righteousness, that you cannot receive from the law of moses. Now think about this, there are people there, majority are not saved. Alright? Think about what people are saying about this kind of preaching today. If Paul preached this sermon today, there would be those who say “Paul is preaching easy believism”.

My Comments: No one should pretend that what Paul said here is a total list of God’s requirements from people who wish to be saved from the wrath to come, and no one should say that what Paul doesn’t say here proves that in a presentation of the full gospel nothing more is required. We should not argue from silence. 

I could use the same kind of argument to prove that you will get everything you ask from God, regardless of conditions. Jesus said, “Ask, and you shall receive… For everyone who asks receives” (Matthew 7:7). Jesus.  By Joseph Prince’s reasoning, since no conditions are mentioned here, it is not necessary to have faith when you ask, since Jesus does not mention it. In fact Jesus says “Everyone”! So everyone should get everything they want just by asking. Experience shows this just isn’t the case. Neither is it the case that everyone who hears what Prince calls the “uncluttered immediate eternal gospel” gets unconditional forgiveness from God. We have to know what else Paul preached, and who better to tell us than Paul himself.

If we really care to know what Paul’s message in preaching actually was, lets look at how he summarised his own preaching ministry. Paul in defending himself said:

Act 26:19  “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
Act 26:20  but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
Act 26:21  For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.

To the Ephesian elders:

 

Act 20:20  how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house,
Act 20:21  testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. …

Act 20:24  But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Act 20:25  “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
Act 20:26  Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
Act 20:27  For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.

 

You have to preach the whole counsel of God to be innocent of the blood of all men, and I do not hesitate to say that Joseph Prince, megachurch pastor in Singapore, not only DOES NOT preach the whole counsel of God, but also, he despises the teaching of it.

The gospel of the grace of God is what Paul preached (see the quote). How then does he say to Agrippa that he told the Gentiles that they should turn repent, turn to God and do works befitting repentance? It is because the true grace of God Paul elsewhere describes as follows:

 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good  works. (Titus 2:11-14)

Grace is God’s power to enable us to change. It is not a promise that we don’t have to change to be free from God’s judgement.

JP: Let’s follow now. We are going back to early Christianity. Alright? Paul did not make conditions. Paul didn’t say “REPENT!” And if your heart is truly, truly, truly repentant (people laugh)… if you are really sincere … notice the full declaration of the free favor of God … immediate and eternal … through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins … and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the Law of Moses, by the Ten Commandments.

My Comment: This is not a complete presentation of the doctrine of the early Christians. I also doubt if it was a complete record of everything Paul said on that day, but rather his main points. The thing is, the gospel DOES present an offer of forgiveness that is not obtained by lawkeeping. But the gospel also REQUIRES something. It requires a surrendering to God, a commitment to the person of Christ, and a willingness to change as the living LORD Jesus speaks into our lives. The fact that Paul is not recorded as saying “Repent” in this message does not define for us what the gospel is or requires. In other passages like Acts 17:30 Paul does say REPENT while preaching to unbelievers. He says that “God commands all men everywhere to REPENT”. Paul clearly taught that people should turn from sin and forsake it. Paul taught that His preaching made people OBEDIENT TO GOD.

Romans 15:18  For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient—
Romans 15:19  in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Back to  Joseph Prince:

JP: Now think about it. If he preached like this today … there will be people, who are theologians, who have been influenced by cluttered Christianity, who will stand up and say, “You are preaching easy believism”. You are preaching sloppy agape … greasy grace … cheap grace … no don’t say down there, “Paul meant they should repent”. Where’s the word repent? “Therefore let it be known to you that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins … when you have truly repented … when you have truly repented. Hmmm?

I have answered this objection above. Joseph Prince is telling his people not to worry about what theologians may say. This is anti-intellectual. It is also stupid. As I have already shown, just because a verse of the Bible does not mention a concept does NOT mean that the concept is irrelevant to the passage in question.

I will just say that Joseph Prince is preaching HERESY. Such preaching will never lead to people “working out their salvation with fear and trembling” (Php 2:13) because they think that it has already been “worked out” for them. The true preaching of grace leads people to humbly depend on God and cling to God, trusting indeed that God IS working His righteousness out in their lives as they walk by the Spirit, and trusting that as they walk by the Spirit, their sins and mistakes are under the blood of Christ.

 

JP: Now Pastor Prince, the Bible teaches on repentance! Yes. Repentance means change your mind. You know what? When Jesus came on the scene he said, “Repent and believe the gospel”. Change your mind about saving yourself, about your self effort, and believe the good news. Repent and believe the gospel. Its repentance from unbelief, from not believing God is so good, from not believing that the news that God has given is so good, what Jesus did is so good, the effects is so good, repent of that, and start to believe the good news. Your sins are truly forgiven. Your sins are truly forgiven.

My Comments:

Listen to JP’s take on what Jesus meant when he said “Repent and believe the gospel”. For Prince it is that Jesus is simply saying, “Stop trying to save yourself and believe you are already forgiven”.

Greek word ‘Metanoia’ does mean changing the mind. But it is not any old change of the mind. For example, it is not changing my opinions on the doctrine of salvation that constitutes repentance any more than changing my mind on which kind of music I like the most. Changing your mind about sin is what is required. means not wanting it any more. That is repentance. And the Hebrew concept of repentance implies strongly a turning away from sin. You cannot cling to your sins and say that you have “repented”.

I don’t think the people of the time would have understood THAT by what Jesus said. Its not what John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus taught about repentance. The Bible does not say what JP says here, he is adding it in. The Bible instead rather contradicts such thinking, as I have shwon. On what authority is Prince saying these things? Is it on the authority of having lots of money collected from a 19000 member church? Is it on the authority of being an internationally demanded conference speaker and being praised by people like Brian Houston? Is it on the authority of an extra biblical revelation? On what authority does he teach these things which so contradict the Word of God in both Old AND New Testaments?

 

Beware of false teachers. If you believe them, they may well lead you to HELL.

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About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

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